Revolution of 1688 and the European entanglements of the new monarchs, William and Mary, pulled New Englanders out of their Puritan shell and made all colonial Protestants more self-conscious about the controversy with Rome that was so inextricably a part of the conflict with France. This heightened sensibility was expressed clearly when, for example, in 1698 a Congregational minister preached a sermon entitled New-England's Duty and Interest in which that interest was described as lying with 'the Protestant People, and [God's] Witnesses in Germany, Bohemia, Hungarra, France, the Valleys of the Piedmont; and many other places in Europe: where for his Name and Gospel sake they have been Killed all the day long'.10
The careers of notable Protestant leaders further illustrate the temper of the times. Cotton Mather (1663-1728), long-time colleague minister with his father, Increase, at Boston's Second Church, was famously hyper-active, but also learned, conscientious, and touchingly pious. His Magnalia Christi Americana (1702) represented a filiopietistic paean to the unique virtues of New England's founders, but Mather also corresponded with the Halle Pietist August Hermann Francke, he nudged norms of religious experience towards the new affectional philosophy of the eighteenth century, he eventually welcomed non-Congregational churches to Boston (though not Anglicans), and he manifested the Enlightenment's fascination with nature by urging inoculation against smallpox and writing a considerable work of natural theology, The Christian Philosopher (1721). Mather regarded Benjamin Colman as a theological trimmer when in 1699 Colman was named the pastor of Boston's new Brattle Street Church, where new expressions of English architecture, English liturgy, and English sensibility seemed to be replacing New England's historic Puritan dis-tinctiveness. Yet Colman, who had lived in London before taking this charge, was not so much a liberal as an internationally attuned evangelical who valued closer ties with an array of European Protestants. In the 1730s Colman would connect Jonathan Edwards with leading British Dissenters and also provide Boston's official welcome for George Whitefield. Together, Mather and Colman were reflecting an altered landscape. They participated in the era's explosion of print, they shared a heightened sense of world-wide Catholic menace, and their congregations were financially supported by an ever-expanding trans-Atlantic trade.
Such tectonic movement prepared the way for revivalistic eruption. New England had long witnessed recurring episodes of local revival, for example, several 'harvests' at the Northampton, Massachusetts, church of Solomon Stoddard (1643-1729), the dominant religious figure in the Connecticut River Valley for more than half a century. By the mid-1720s similar local episodes were
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